Useful links and resources

Welcome to the ‘Useful Links and Resources’ page where you’ll find resources that will help to support you as a family. There are thousands of items on eating disorders and this can be very overwhelming when trying to find what you need. I have therefore selected resources that I think would be good to start with.  I hope this is helpful to you, and if any of you have found other resources that you would like included, just get in touch.


Websites and organisations:

BEAT  – is the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, OSFED or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape –   This is the leading website in the UK where you will find all manner of information on eating disorders. I would recommend that you start your search here if you need to learn more about eating disorders. There are excellent resources for you to download and keep and i would recommend taking a few minutes to go take a look to see what’s there. There is also resources to support you as a carer including discussion forums and training workshops to get involved with.  You can also give them a call if you can’t find something you need.

Eva Musby – Helping you support your child to recover from an eating disorder, anywhere in the world – This is what Eva says about her work..

“…I live in the UK, with my husband and daughter. My child was a happy, well-adjusted kid until shortly after her tenth birthday, when she spiraled into restricting anorexia. Eleven months in hospital restored her health, but couldn’t shift her anorexic mindset. Once she was home, we learned a lot and made fast progress. Now that our lives are back to normal, I contribute to struggling parents, by sharing the principles and skills we learned. I am the author of a book for parents: “Anorexia and other eating disorders – how to help your child eat well and be well”. Much of it is on this website.

I also coach and support parents one-on-one by video call — these are typically parents who want to be more effective, who want to take their practical or communication skills up a level, or who long for emotional support during very demanding times.I give talks and training to clinicians and parents, and I also have a number of YouTube videos and audio resources to help parents support their child’s treatment. The resources I offer go beyond my story and my views. I have gathered contributions from other parents, children in recovery, and from experts in eating disorders and in nonviolent communication…”

Parent to Parents –  “..We are parents who have experienced a child’s struggle through anorexia. We often felt confused about how to help our child recover. Through mistakes, trials and errors, and the love and commitment we felt, we made it or are making it through. Now we want to help other parents navigate that journey better than we did…”

F.E.A.S.T – Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders is an international organization of and for parents and caregivers of eating disorder patients. F.E.A.S.T. serves families by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders. F.E.A.S.T. believes that empowered caregivers are essential to the recovery process and to advocating for evidence-based treatment and research. F.E.A.S.T. serves over 7,000 families on four continents and is supported through individual donations.

Videos and short films.

I’ve brought together a collection of the best videos and short films that will help you to get a better understanding of your child and their struggles. This may be a good place to start if you want more information and need some pointers as to what to do next.

Anorexia – Parents to parents – What we wish we understood    A 30 minute documentary where both parents and professionals explore Anorexia. This is an excellent introduction to Anorexia and the serious effects it has on your child and family. This documentary will also help you to understand the silent inner world of your child and put ‘what you see’ in context.

Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders? The experts speak…    (3 minutes) A short clip taken at an international eating disorder conference where the question was posed to several leading professionals. The answer was very clear.

Medical Complications of Eating Disorders.   (10 minutes). Dr. Pei-Yoong Lam, an Adolescent Medicine Physician in the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for Children and Adolescents at BC Children’s Hospital discusses the medical complications associated with eating disorders among children and adolescents.

She answers the following questions:

  • Why would a child or youth need to be admitted to hospital for an eating disorder?
  • How is the body affected by starvation?
  • What are some of the particular implications for females with eating disorders?
  • How do eating disorders impact on bone health and height?
  • How do you go about assessing where a child or youth “should be” in terms of height and weight when treating the eating disorder?
  • What does physical recovery from an eating disorder look like?

After anorexia: Life’s too short to weigh your cornflakes | Catherine Pawley | TEDxLeamingtonSpa    (18 minutes) – Diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in early 2012 Catherine battled the illness throughout her ‘A’ levels and the first year of her degree which resulted in her taking two gap years to get specialist treatment as an inpatient Eating Disorders Unit. Catherine reveals a deeply honest account into her road to recovery which will hopefully inspire others.

Anorexia – Kirsty’s story | Primary PSHE – When I Worry About Things    Suitable for teaching 8 to 13s. A powerful 6 minute animated film based on the first-person testimony of a young girl who developed anorexia as a response to social anxiety.

Road to Recovery animated short film – Produced by Beat (6 minutes) –  created in 2011, featuring the voices of Beat young ambassadors who sensitively describe their experiences of having an eating disorder and their road to recovery.

Eating Disorders Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families – (35 minutes). This video provides strategies to help parents and families provide structure and support to youth with eating disorders before, during and after meals.

Help your child eat with trust, not logic: the bungee jump (Anorexia & other Eating Disorders)    A fantastic 5 minute video from Eva Musby.. How to help your loved one eat or tolerate distress in spite of anorexia or another eating or anxiety disorder. Imagine you were to take a bungee jump. What could your instructor do to help you? What would make it worse? One principle is to inspire trust, rather than use logic.

Stuck & not eating! Anorexia/ eating disorders: parents’ meal support tips  Another fab 21 minute video from Eva Musby – What can you do when in spite of your support, your child (whatever their age) seems stuck part-way through a meal, or at the start, or close to the end? How long should you keep someone from anorexia (or another restrictive eating disorder) at the table? What about incentives and leverage/sanctions? What to do about the missing calories? Should you be offering alternative foods or be a brick wall? And what about an approach many parents swear by: “Life stops until you eat (LSUYE”)?

This video outlines the range of approaches that have worked for others using family-based treatment, and what we know from research. You might be at the re-feeding stage, where your your child needs to eat what you’re putting on their plate and you’re aiming for rapid weight gain if your child is underweight. Or you might be at another stage where you’re doing exposure and desensitisation work on foods which your child used to eat but has been avoiding for a while.

Recommended Books

This is an excellent book that I have recommended to most families that I support professionally. It gives accurate information in an easy to read and non jargon way. It’s a real ‘how to’ book that uses metaphor to illustrate key understandings in eating disorders. This can be read comfortably over a couple of days and

Survive FBT: Skills Manual for Parents Undertaking Family Based Treatment (FBT) for Child and Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa Paperback – 23 Feb 2016 – ISBN-10: 0994474601.

Family Based Treatment (FBT) is viewed as the gold standard in treating adolescent Anorexia Nervosa and it currently produces the best evidence-based outcomes. However, the treatment is intensive and many parents commence unprepared despite their courage and willingness to take on the task of refeeding their ill child to health. Parents have desperately asked for more information to help them understand anorexia’s grip on their child and to survive the intensity of the treatment. This book was written to give these parents the tools to help them “see it through” to the end.This skills-based manual clearly explains the treatment, providing invaluable information to help parents through each component. It outlines the obstacles and all the anorexic behaviors that will impede treatment and recovery. The aim of this manual is to ensure parents remain one step ahead of anorexia and that they “hit the ground running.”This book is a valuable resource for parents commencing FBT and for parents struggling during treatment. It offers clear, practical advice and empowers parents to confront whatever the illness throws at them. It is also an important resource for clinicians and will help them guide their families through treatment.

Eva Musby is a writer who also had first hand experience of supporting her daughter through an eating disorder. She successfully used her knowledge, personal experience and well researched theories to produce this excellent book. I would recommend this for any parent who is engaged in Family Based Treatment or wants to know more for themselves.

Anorexia and other Eating Disorders: how to help your child eat well and be well: Practical solutions, compassionate communication tools and emotional support for parents of children and teenagers Paperback – 4 Oct 2014 – ISBN-10: 9780993059803

Parents are best placed to help their teenager or young child beat an eating disorder, yet most struggle to know what to do and how to do it. In Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders, Eva Musby draws on her family’s successful use of evidence-based treatment to empower you to support your child through recovery.

  • Learn practical and effective mealtime skills
  • Help your child to eat well and be free of fears and compulsions
  • Know what to say and what not to say in highly charged situations
  • Recognise the treatments that work and the ones that don’t
  • Develop your own emotional resources

However difficult your situation, this book gives you the tools you need to care for your child, your family and yourself. Using compassionate presence, Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness and acceptance, Eva Musby plots out a path towards well-being. With a wealth of guidance and practical examples, Anorexia and Other Eating Disordersis an invaluable guide to coping with and overcoming an eating disorder in the family.

A parent companion guide for parents and carers to accompany family based treatment. Written by the same authors that produce the clinician manual used in most specialist eating disorders services.

Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder, Second Edition Paperback – 1 Apr 2015 – ISBN-10: 146251748X

Tens of thousands of parents have turned to this compassionate resource for support and practical advice grounded in cutting-edge scientific knowledge. Numerous vivid stories show how to recognize and address anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other devastating eating disorders that wreak havoc on teens and their families. James Lock and Daniel Le Grange present strong evidence that parents–who have often been told to take a back seat in eating disorder treatment–can and must play a key role in recovery. Whether pursuing family-based treatment or other options, parents learn specific, doable steps for monitoring their teen’s eating and exercise habits, managing mealtimes, ending weight-related power struggles, and collaborating successfully with health care providers. Featuring the latest research and resources, the second edition now addresses additional disorders recognized in DSM-5 (including binge-eating disorder).

Eating With Your Anorexic: A Mother’s Memoir Paperback – 16 Dec 2014 – ISBN-10: 0692329951

Thousands of parents owe a debt of gratitude to Laura Collins for all her campaigning work, beginning with her book ‘Eating with your Anorexic’, which she wrote at a time when most clinicians found the notion of involving parents extremely off-putting.

Her daughter developed anorexia at a time when parents were told to back off and let the experts take over, but her research led her to FBT (Family Based Treatment), (which she refers to as ‘The Maudsley method’), a method described in Lock and Le Grange’s book ‘Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder’.

Laura Collins did not have access to an FBT therapist, but went ahead as best she could. She writes a gripping and moving account of how she and her husband took control of their daughter’s recovery. I could identify with all her struggles, tears and determination – if you feel alone, read this and you’ll discover a kindred spirit.

My Kid is Back Paperback – 24 Feb 2010 – ISBN-10: 041558115X

My Kid is Back explains how family-based treatment can greatly reduce the severity of anorexia nervosa in children and adolescents, allowing the sufferer to return to normal eating patterns, and their families to return to normal family life. In this book, ten families share their experiences of living with anorexia.

Parents describe  their frustrations in seeking help for their child and dealing with their behaviour and sufferers discuss how the illness gets into their mind and takes over their personality.

By focusing on the Maudsley family approach and expert advice from Professor Daniel Le Grange, and including clear lists of illness symptoms, strategies for parents and carers to follow, and information on getting further treatment and support, this book proves an essential resource for families who want to win the battle with anorexia nervosa.